Georgia Southwestern State University

Complementary Efforts to Study and Act on Belonging

Two students walk across campus on a sunny day.
Photo courtesy of Georgia Southwestern State University

As part of Georgia’s statewide effort to increase college graduation rates, institutions in the University System are assessing and designing interventions to develop students’ productive academic mindsets which include learning from setbacks, having a sense of purpose, and finding their place in the institutional environment. The NSSE 2020 sense of belonging results provide Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) a complementary measure to examine alongside their belonging data from the institutions’ results on the University System of Georgia’s Mindset Survey. Specifically, first-year student belonging results and several measures in the Supportive Environment and Quality of Interactions Engagement Indicators offer the University a broader perspective on belonging by connecting it to institutional support and interaction.

These data are being considered alongside data from the Student Strength Inventory (SSI) on Campus Engagement and Social Comfort to form a deeper picture of social belonging during the first year. Using SSI, USG Mindset Survey, and NSSE data gives GSW data points from the beginning of the first year, the end of the first semester of the first year, and the second semester of the first year, respectively. Results will be analyzed to identify topics for institutional action, with a focus on how aspects of student life such as contact among students from different backgrounds, being involved socially, and attending campus events, could be redesigned to focus more intentionally on their contribution to productive academic mindsets.

Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education

Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University School of Education
201 N. Rose Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
Phone: 812.856.5824